Sneakers, Vacations, And The Dress In The Lucky Brand Window

1 Feb

Sneakers, Vacations & the Dress in the Lucky Brand Window: Do Companies Raise Our Social Consciousness & Influence Our Behavior?

Do you think twice about which pair of running shoes to buy if one company brand says it will give 5% of your purchase to charity, and the other one does not? How about if the charity-oriented one costs $10 more? Will you select that one instead?

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Let’s say you’re dead-set on going to the Galapagos for your summer vacation, and you’ve decided that the best way to do it is through a professional tour company. You’ve done your research and found two companies that offer trips to Nepal that fit your timeframe, itinerary, desired activity level, and the like.

Company X is known for its strong charitable commitment and makes a cash contribution to a charity in the trip’s main destination whenever a customer purchases a trip. Company Y also has a great reputation as a tour operator but it does not have such an obvious commitment to charitable giving.

The price for Company X’s trip is a few hundred dollars more than Company Y (a relatively small amount when you consider that the trip will cost over $3k regardless of the tour company you select). Which tour company do you select?

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You are taking a much-needed and all too infrequent walk during your lunch hour. You are staring mindlessly at the various store window displays in an effort to keep your mind off of the work you have waiting for you back at the office, when something stops you dead in your tracks. It is a dress in the Lucky Brand store window, and it is off-the-charts stunning. You just can’t resist going inside to take a closer look. Oops, now you can’t refrain from trying it on. It fits you like a glove.

As you stand in front of the mirror feeling like a million bucks, a sales-person greets you and tells you that they have a special initiative going right now, one in which the store will give a percentage of the price of each item you purchase to charity. So, are you more likely to rationalize that it’s okay to buy that new Lucky Brand dress – a dress you don’t need and a brand you usually think is way too expensive – because the store will give 10% of your purchase to charity?

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How inclined are you to have your choices about sneakers, vacations, dresses and other non-essentials influenced by an opportunity to be charitable in some manner? Regardless of whether you actually buy the more expensive brand of sneakers, or the dress that will result in a few dollars for a cause you care about, do these social responsibility efforts of various corporations raise your social consciousness at all? Do you remember the ‘charitable dress’ opportunity when you’re next out shopping for a dress and that store isn’t doing the same thing?

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